After 10 plus years in the animated space and little bit parts in recent Star Wars side moments Ahsoka Tano is getting her time to shine, but has Disney hit a home run for fans and new comers alike or do we have another phone in series relying on the fandoms need for more stories? Let’s have a quick delve into episodes 1 & 2 from Disney Plus’ new series Ashoka.
Ashoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) is polarising character. The ex-apprentice of Anakin Skywalker and one of the more powerful Jedi, the older Ashoka cuts a stern, calm and calculated figure in a time when the galaxy is still in an uneasy rebuilding phase. The Galactic Empire may have fallen yet the whispers are still there. Having survived Order 66 when so many of her Jedi family did not Ashoka is making her way through this new phase relying only on herself.
That is until a new threat is uncovered that aims to return one of the Empires most dangerous generals to help overthrow the New Republic. Ashoka needs to swallow her pride and look to her own former apprentice Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) for help to uncover this new threat and how they will go about bringing peace once more to the New Republic.
These first two episodes released do a fair bit of ground work in setting up who Ashoka is now after the Clone Wars have run its course and being in hiding while the whole Skywalker “thing” was happening. (Episodes 4-6) for fans of the Clone Wars series there are easter eggs a plenty and some touching moments between the characters remembering better times from their younger days together. Adding to the lead trio is Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) another familiar face from the Clone Wars / Rebels series, a general now for the Republic and a friend to Ashoka. Hera plays that sister role to Ashoka giving her advice that she maybe doesn’t want to hear but always looking out for each other.
As a fan of the Star Wars universe and having delved deep into the lore, the story of Ashoka has landed well with me so far and yet the pacing for those new to the series will feel a little tiresome as a lot of what goes on the writers have just expected you to know. It leaves many holes in the story for you to fill in yourself and often raises way more questions than it answers. I can see some being answered as time goes on and yet others are just left to your own thoughts.
We are introduced to two new force wielders that have obviously taken a darker route in Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) and his as yet un named apprentice played by Ivanna Sakhno. The introduction of these two ominous characters has not been expanded on enough. What are their motives? Are they just guns for hire now? Both obviously powerful in their own right there is much more that needs to be expanded upon to see where their characters head.
Unfortunately, Ashoka has failed to live up to some of the hype from its initial episode release. I truly miss some of the epic light sabre fights that we have had in previous Star Wars titles. Given Ashoka’s serious skill with a sabre I was waiting to see her epic skills in action on screen but was left with what can only be described as posing for the shot. This is a problem in each of the light sabre sequences we see to begin with. Hopefully we see more in the coming weeks.
Ultimately Ashoka’s season premier is a solid start for the fans yet newer audiences may have a bit of trouble following along. Some decent character building is needed still and a dip into George Lucas’ Star Wars hand book may help but I am keen to see where this one goes. Ahsoka after all has been deserving of her time in the lime light for long enough!
Ahsoka episodes 1 & 2 are available now on Disney Plus with a new one joining every Wednesday.
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